For New Students

Welcome to UC Berkeley!

students smiling in the UC Berkeley student food coop

UC Berkeley peers invite you to the Student Food Collective at 2440 Bancroft Way. The collective offers organic and locally sourced products.

Getting Your Bearings

Oski bear walking on campus

Get to know your new campus by taking a sustainability walking tour! During GBO, our Carbon Neutrality Initiative Fellows lead these tours and offer workshops. Berkeley campus works to continuously reduce our environmental impact. Students lead the way in making Berkeley Zero Waste by 2020, and in saving energy to become Carbon Neutral by 2025.

What can you do? When you arrive, unpack your reusable water bottle and get familiar with the composting bin in your room - use them often.  Enjoy the locally-sourced and sustainable food in the dining halls. Turn off unneeded lights and take shorter showers. Getting around is easy with your transit Class Pass, on campus shuttles or by bike.  Still working on your class schedule? Look through our list of sustainability related courses. Or volunteer to improve the habitat around Strawberry Creek.

We want to make it easy for you to join us and engage with our community of sustainability.

Sustainability Course Spotlight

Editors' picks 

Here are just 3 of the 500+ sustainability related courses offered at UC Berkeley:

Course: Landscape Architecture 130

Title: Sustainable Cities & Landscapes

Description: Insights into what makes a city lifestyle more sustainable than suburban living, and how to make cities more equitable and self-sufficient environmentally. The course focuses on San Francisco and Berkeley.

Student Insight: “I learned to appreciate the Bay Area's compactedness as a function of sustainability. This course also inspired me to study city planning!"

Course: ENVDES 4C

Title: Future Ecologies: Urban Design, Climate Adaptation, and Thermodynamics

Description: Intro to methods for investigating relationships in the built environment; Questions about human habitat that could shape the future

Student Insight“Take this class if you want to understand how the built environment can contribute, adpat, and mitigate climate change.” 

 

Course: ESPM 161

Title: Environmental Philosophy and Ethics

Description: Human environments as physical, social-economic, and technocultural ecosystems; emphasis on ideologies, beliefs, attitudes, and behavior

Student Insight:  “A great philosophy breadth course that provides theory behind environmentalism.” 

Summer Reading

What are you reading this summer? Here are the sustainability related picks from the UC Berkeley 2018 summer reading list:

Climate Changed: A Personal Journey through the Science

Philippe Squarzoni

Squarzoni’s graphic memoir recounts his experience in coming to understand the immensity of our changing climate. Not only does the book inform readers of these enormous changes, it also illustrates how it is we come to understand new and life-altering ideas. One of my students said after reading Squarzoni’s memoir that she felt “changed.” Squarzoni provides no easy answers, but he does open our eyes to some of the most pressing concerns of our day.

Barkskins

Annie Proulx

Annie Proulx inspires the reader to think about the love of archival research involved in writing this kind of historical novel. She also leaves us with something like an obsession with trees, branches, leaves, massive tree trunks, and a longing for woods and forests. A story of the ecological devastation of the forests of North America, this honest and delicate exploration of relations between European settlers and Native American groups encourages healing.

 

Updated September 2018

Stay Connected

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Points of Pride

  • 87% of students walk, bike or take public transit to campus.

  • Student fees funded over $2 million for 166 sustainability projects in the last eight years.

  • 29 percent of undergraduates took at least one course focused on sustainability.

  • Chou Hall, our first Zero Waste building, opened in 2017.

  • In 2017, we installed our first solar panels on 5 buildings, generating a total of 1 megawatt of green energy.

Students gardening

Students gardening on campus

students sitting in the sun near campanile

Students enjoying a sunny day near the campanile